Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Challenges of Being a Curvy Girl

I have a problem.  It's my own problem, but since I like to over-share, I am going to make it your problem too.

I don't know how to address curvy girls.  I hate to say voluptuous, curvy or plus-sized, as if it were a disability.  I've addressed a couple of curvier ladies in my blog, and I feel like an ass pointing out that their bodies might be larger than the average runway model (who would be a size double zero).  I know I've addressed this somewhere before but it's bugging me so I'm addressing it again.  It's like when someone tells you that you have "such a pretty face," and in their minds they are thinking, "but such a fat ass...".  It's totally a backhanded compliment.  As if women who don't fit the size standard for "beautiful" are not also beautiful.  

On the other hand, if you do have a few extra pounds, and you're still able to swing around the pole, invert and pull tricks like a pro, then I want to give props for that!  It gives me hope that I don't need to lose 100 pounds and get down to size 4 to perform like I want to perform!  Like the pole dancing versus stripper debate...words are just words, so no matter which one(s) I use, someone ends up pissed off.  And it won't matter because it's all technically describing the same thing.  

Here are some past posts on this long-running subject:

Everything comes down to self-esteem.  Of which, I appear to have none.  I am still learning how to love myself.  I have problems in relationships and life because I don't love myself.  I wasn't taught to love myself as a child.  In fact, I spent my childhood being made to feel ashamed of myself.  

My friend is reading a book and sent me the follow quote:

"All the people in your life are truly doing the best they can with what they have. People can only love you to the capacity that they are able to love themselves. They can only forgive and embrace you to the capacity that they are able to forgive and embrace themselves. They can only give you what they have the capacity to give. You may think that you deserve more and you may be correct. But that means nothing if a person simply doesn't have the ability to give it to you."

Wow.  That is profound.  She sent it to me in relation to a family member.  But that could be describing me.

I know I have a lot of work to do on myself.  I did decide to participate in the Screw the Scales Challenge.  I put my scale away for two months.  I have been putting so much stock in the numbers that pop up on that scale.  I almost can't function in life because my good or bad days depend upon what the scale told me that morning.  That is just stressing me out and making me want to eat more, which causes the scale to move in the wrong direction. 

So I am taking it one day at a time.  Thinking about each meal as it comes, and each round of exercise, instead of overwhelming myself with a week of meals and exercising that needs to be done.  Something has to work eventually, right?

Back to the curvy girl description.  Clearly, I have hung too much of my own existence up on what size I am.  I don't look down on curvy girls.  At the same time, I don't want to be one.  That is my own low self-esteem talking.  I also realize that I need to learn to love myself because I will ALWAYS be "curvy."  Even at my smallest, I'm 6 feet tall, 200 pounds and a size 14.  That's not tiny.  And there are so many women who inspire me.  They are beautiful and strong and also happen to be "curvy."  I hope I have never insulted anyone by calling them curvy.  I have never meant it in a demeaning way.  

"Life doesn't start five pounds from now."  I am focusing on eating right and working out, and leaving the scale out of the picture for now.  But I am not waiting to get stronger -- I am all about gaining strength, with or without losing a single pound of fat.  And I am also figuring out how to love myself at any size.  Because I am looking at a lifetime of dealing with being "curvy" and I certainly don't want to hate myself for another 40 years. 


  1. Hi Twirly Girl!

    My name is Cher and I am the Social Media Marketing Consultant for Swimsuits For All. ( We have swimwear for women ranging from size 8 to size 26W. I read your article and I wanted to let you know how to address a curvy girl.

    Mrs. Smith.
    Miss Smith.
    Jane Smith.
    Dr. Jane Smith.
    Or perhaps, just Jane would suffice.

    We would appreciate any of those. ;)

    However, to answer your question on a level more specific to your question, we don't mind:

    Curvy. Full figured. Voluptuous. Thick chick. Plus sized. But generally, we like the same things most women do. Pretty. Smart. Funny. Cute. Charming. Intelligent. Sassy. Successful. Happy.

    You know, all the same things that any girl would love hearing. I have to admit, I was a bit taken aback to hear you say:

    "I don't look down on curvy girls. At the same time, I don't want to be one," shortly after saying that you don't consider it a handicap. However, I am all in favor of personal choice and if it is more ideal for you to wish to be a size 4 as opposed to a size 14, in my eyes, that is perfectly acceptable. We want women to be happy in the skin they are in and if you are unhappy and being tinier would make you feel better about yourself, than that is what we would want for you.

    I am not the type of person who, because I am a thick woman who works for a plus sized organization, would ever think for a moment that my body ideal should match that of any other person. I truly hope that someday, you can make peace with your body and learn to love yourself in the skin you are in.

    That's a gift that I wish for all women, to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and realize that she is a goddess. Fat, thin or any size in between. Just be happy.

    That's all I want for you. I've seen your photos. You're lovely. I wish you knew that about you and can see yourself as I see you in your pictures. Strong, fit, smart, savvy and yes, even curvy. And I promise you, it's not a bad thing. :)

    Cher T.

    1. Hi Cher!

      I love your response and thank you for your kind words. I guess I should clarify. It's not that I don't want to be curvy. I'm ok with that. I just don't want to be fat. It hurts. It makes my back, knees and feet hurt. It makes me sweaty. It makes me tired. My highest weight was 350 pounds. Yet, somehow right now at 250 pounds, I'm in more pain than I ever was at 350. Maybe it's because I'm almost ten years older. Maybe it's because I'm more active. Whatever the reason -- it sucks. So I celebrate my curves and I want the issues that go along with being overweight to disappear. :-)

      P.S. I'll be checking out your website. Summer is coming!! :-D